Sunday, September 16, 2018

Wakkoqu ((神戸牛ステーキ「あぶり肉工房 和黒), Kobe Japan - A Pictorial

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The Place

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Assorted Vegetables

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Beansprouts with Beef Fat & Fried Rice

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A5 Kobe

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Final Verdict:

Ambience: 7/10 (old school restaurant feel and you'll end up smelling like food)
Service: 8/10
Food: 9/10
Value for money: 8/10

Overall: 8/10

Address: 1F Hillside Terrace1-22-13 Nakayamate-dori, Chuo, Kobe-city (神戸市中央区中山手通1丁目22-13 ヒルサイドテラス1F)

Contact: 078-222-0678

Opening Hours: 12:00 - 22:00 (Last order: 21:00) daily except for New Year Holidays


Sunday, September 09, 2018

iO Italian Osteria - Pretty Good Italian Food In Western Singapore

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We wanted Italian food and had heard good things about iO Italian. So we made the long trek west one late Saturday morning to give iO a shot.

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The Place

Being the first customers of the day has its merits; you get to occupy the "choice" tables, which are essentially tables by the full length glass windows. A great proposition except that you bear the full brunt of the late morning sun which would work fine if you are looking for a tan or prefer the heat. I digress. The place is rather homely with cement screed floors and wooden tables for that cozy and laid back feeling. There's a rather impressive display at the entrance where they sell an assortment of breads as well.

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Bruschetta, Sautéed Mushrooms

I found this pretty good; crusty bread with a layer of cheese and topped with copious amounts of mushroom. I'll be sure to try the tomato variant next time round just for comparison.

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Crispy Golden Seafood in Semolina Crumb

We really liked this dish. The seafood was fresh and coated with a light, crispy and mildly salty batter. Simple yet delicious.

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This wasn't on the menu but they were nice enough to do it for us. The cream sauce was of the right viscosity with a hint of alcohol whilst the penne came across as al dente with lots of bacon. Very competent but somehow lacked the wow factor I was looking for.

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Homemade Tagliolini, Prawns, Lemon, Aromatic Breadcrumb

Al dente tagliolini coupled with a lightly creamy yet lemony sauce and topped with generous cubes of crunchy prawn and aromatic breadcrumbs (for the added crunch). What's not to like? Personally prefer this over the Carbonara.

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Pistachio Tiramisu

We ended off with a pistachio tiramisu, which came dusted with lots of ground pistachios. The mascarpone was light but wasn't chilled long enough and I couldn't quite make out any alcohol in the whole dish. Still decent nonetheless.

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Prices are mid range but food quality is pretty good generally. Will definitely be back especially since service is very upbeat and cheerful!

Final Verdict:

Ambience: 7/10
Service: 7.5/10
Food: 7.5/10
Value for money: 7/10

Overall: 7.25/10

Address: #02-01, Hillv2

Contact: 6710 7150

Opening Hours:

Monday to Friday 11:30am – 10pm daily

Saturday & Sunday 10am – 10pm daily


Monday, May 14, 2018

DB Bistro & Oyster Bar Part II

Contrary to the title, this was just one of the many visits we made to DB Bistro (was just too lazy to take photos or blog about it).

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The Place

DB Bistro's interior is reminiscent of a classic Parisian brasserie, albeit more contemporary. I personally like the leather booth seats that line the middle and corners of the restaurant.

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Complimentary Bread

We started off with some rather dry foccacia and baguette (thank god for the butter!), which helped to stave off the hunger pangs. 

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Lobster & Cauliflower Gratin

The side of Lobster & Cauliflower Gratin was pretty good; chunks of lobster and cauliflower in a cheesey, gooey gratin. I personally would have liked it a little richer and less watery but still good nonetheless.

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Wild Mushrooms

Another of our side, the wild mushrooms provided an earthy taste to minimize the nausea. Rather generous portions.

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Spaghetti “Nero”

Al dente squid ink pasta served with sizeable chunks of prawn and calamari and topped with a mildly spicy, savoury lobster sauce and cheese. Pretty good in my humble opinion.

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Maine Lobster Roll

The Maine Lobster Roll came across as decent. The bun was slathered in butter and pan fried but came across as a wee bit too soft (probably been sitting around for a while) whilst the chunks of lobster had more of a vegetable taste to them due to the avacado and tomato served alongside. Would have preferred a pure, unadulterated crustecean taste instead. Shoestring fries on the side were nice and crisp but a tad too dry for my liking.

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Durian “Royale” Soufflé

The king and queen of fruits in one dessert; Mao Shan Wang (猫山王) souffle with mangosteen ice cream. The souffle came across as fluffy with a relatively strong smell and taste of durian whilst the ice cream was a little tart and creamy, which provided a nice counterbalance.

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Food was very decent but pricing is definitely on the high side (branding + location I guess). Service was excellent.

Final Verdict:

Ambience: 7.5/10
Service: 8/10
Food: 7/10
Value for money: 6.5/10

Overall: 7.25/10

Address: B1-48, Galleria Level, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands

Contact: 6688 8525

Opening Hours:

MON, TUE, WED, THU, FRI: 12:00pm - 5:30pm

SAT, SUN: 11:00am - 5:30pm

SUN, MON: 5:30pm - 10:00pm
TUE, WED, THU, FRI, SAT: 5:30pm - 11:00pm

Brunch is served on weekends only.


Sunday, April 08, 2018

Wolfgang's Steakhouse Singapore - Salty, Salty, Salty

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We were having lunch at Wolfgang Steakhouse, which has outlets in New York, Tokyo, Hawaii and now Singapore. There has been alot of hype surrounding the opening of its Singapore outpost but I've honestly never of it. Apparently Wolfgang used to be the head waiter at the legendary Peter Luger for 40 years before his son convinced him to come out of retirement to open the first Wolfgang Steakhouse in Manhattan.

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The Place

Seated on the 2nd floor of the relatively new Intercontinental Singapore @ Robertson Quay (which took over the previous Gallery Hotel), the steakhouse exudes class and familiarity with its predominantly wooden interior, leather backed seats and limited views of the surrounding Robertson Quay through full length windows. It can get a little warm during the day though if you sit next to the windows.

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Complimentary Bread

The bread basket consisted of baguette and onion bread. The former wasn't warm and came across as rock hard (not even the butter could save it) whilst the latter was fragrant but rather dry; even worse than the recently inferior one from Morton's. 

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Lobster Mac & Cheese

I think the QC on this was pretty bad. One side of it was overly charred (which gave it a bitter taste), while the other side was nicely done. Overall the non burnt portion was decent; gooey but a tad bland with a few pieces of lobster in it.

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Sizzling Bacon

This thick cut of bacon came across as chunky with a good meat to fat ratio and a nice, crispy surface. However not as well done as Peter Luger's in my humble opinion.

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Sauteed Mushrooms

Assorted mushrooms with onions and a whole lot of salt

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Pasta Pescatore

Al dente pasta topped with shrimp, lobster, clams and calamari. Unfortunately the marinara sauce tasted a little too watered down and not the least bit spicy (contrary to the description on the menu). Somehow this dish lacked any oomph.

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This was part of the Taste of New York Set from the lunch menu. ~320g sirloin (inclusive bone, which worked out to be about 4 very thick slices of meat). The crisp exterior belied a chewy, medium rare center which was tender and juicy. However it was a little too salty for my liking (and trust me, I have a high tolerance for salt). Thankfully the restaurant's special sauce, a cross between BBQ sauce and ketchup, helped masked the saltiness.

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Apple Strudel

A rather average dessert with the filo pastry a little too drenched from the sauce and an almost overwhelming taste of cinnamon. The apple slices were on the sourish side but the sweetness from the raisins balanced that out rather well. Nothing in the league of Morton's or Ruth Chris honestly.

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New York Cheesecake

This was half a portion of cheesecake and came with the Taste of New York Set. To be honest, this was very good and definitely the best dish of the entire meal. Rich and dense layer at the top with a soft, spongy middle. Not overly sweet and better than alot of cheesecakes I've eaten.

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Key Lime Pie

First time trying a Key Lime Pie and it was decent with the lime curd texture a little gelatin like and not too tart, on a crumbly biscuit crust.

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Lunch for the 4 of us came up to almost $300, which isn't very expensive for a reputable steakhouse. Unfortunately food in general isn't too spectacular maybe because of the high salt content (we ordered a burger as well but had to send it back to the kitchen because the patty and onion rings were ridiculously salty. To their credit, the replacement dish was alot less salty). On the upside, service was excellent; attentive, friendly and obliging.

Final Verdict:

Ambience: 7.5/10
Service: 8/10
Food: 6/10
Value for money: 6/10

Overall: 6.875/10

Address: #02-01 InterContinental Singapore

Contact: 6887 5885

Opening Hours:

LUNCH 11:30 ~ 15:30 (LO 14:30)
DINNER 15:30 ~ 23:30 (LO 22:30)


Monday, March 19, 2018

The Bird Southern Table and Bar - Overhyped and Overrated

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The Bird Southern Table And Bar (or Yardbird) opened with much fanfare a few months back and being a big fan of fried chicken and waffles, I was most eager to try.

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The Place

Located on B1 of the upmarket Marina Bay Sands, The Bird's interior came across as rather cosy and inviting with the hanging neon lights, wooden beams and flooring and leather back sofa seats. I did find the noise level a tad high though, especially with the full house and rather loud music playing in the background. Definitely not a great place to have a conversation or for some peace and quiet for that matter. 

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Skillet Cornbread

This sounded really good on the menu but in reality it didn't quite impress. The bread was crumbly but I couldn't quite make out the taste of corn; the jalapeno taste dominated. Only saving grace, in my humble opinion, was the dollop of mildly sweet honey butter atop which was very rich and smooth.

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Shrimp ‘N’ Grits

I'm not quite a fan of grits (treated corn) but this was pretty decent; crunchy and sizeable prawns soaked in a savoury chicken jus and topped with slices of aged ham.

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Chicken ‘N’ Watermelon ‘N’ Waffles

The fried chicken was juicy and well marinated with a nice crisp skin. Best eaten on it's own and better than the now defunct Bird Bird but not as good as Wakadori Jidai Naruto Honten (若鶏時代なると本店) in my humble opinion. The side of watermelon proved to be interesting; mildly spicy, sweet yet sour at the same time. Not quite my cup of tea. I liked the waffles though - crisp, fragrant and went well with the bourbon maple syrup.

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Macaroni & Cheese

And the ubiquitous mac & cheese with an addition of bacon (+$5). The torchio pasta came across as al dente but I found the cheese a little bland and runny. Thank god for the chunks of bacon, which imbued the dish with a nice saltiness.

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The 6 of us chalked up about $310 for brunch, which wasn't too expensive but overall food quality wasn't great. Service was decent but I don't think I'll return anytime soon.

Final Verdict:

Ambience: 6/10
Service: 7/10
Food: 6/10 (7/10 for the fried chicken and shrimp)
Value for money: 6/10

Overall: 6.25/10

Address: B1-07 Galleria Level, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands

Contact: 6688 9959

Opening Hours:

Monday - Friday: 11:00am - 4:00pm

Daily: 4:00pm - 11:00pm

Monday - Friday: From 11:00am till late
Saturday - Sunday: From 10:00am till late

SAT & SUN: 10:00am - 4:00pm